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Other Primary Headaches

Other Primary Headaches

There are a few other forms of headache that are categorized as being primary conditions because they are not caused by or associated with other medical conditions.

Hemicrania continua
Hemicrania continua is a persistent unilateral headache that is most commonly unremitting. According to the International Headache

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Society system of classification, for Hemicrania continua to be diagnosed, the sufferer has to have been blighted by their headache for a period of at least three months whilst demonstrating all of the following symptoms:

• There must be persistent unilateral pain which does not shift;
• The pain must be continuous and daily, without remission and
• The pain should usually be of moderate intensity, although there may be periods when the pain level increases markedly.

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In addition to these three criteria and the requirement that the headache should have lasted for at least three months, your doctor would expect to see related eye or nose problems as well, such as crying or suffering from nasal congestion.

Very occasionally, there have been reports of occasional examples where remission does happen where Hemicrania is still diagnosed because in all other respects, the sufferers headache problem exactly matches all other requirements for Hemicrania continua.

New daily persistent headache
This is a condition which has only recently been recognized as a distinct type of primary headache by the International Headache Society, with the criteria for recognizing the condition being laid down in the second ICHD in 2004.

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These first criteria for recognizing a new daily persistent headache is that it is a headache that the patient has been suffering from for at least three months, and that it satisfies the following requirements as well:

The pain must be felt daily and must be unremitting;

• It must demonstrate at least of the four following characteristics;
1. The pain must be bilateral;
2. The feeling of the pain must be of pressing or tightening, not pulsing or throbbing;
3. The pain must be mild to moderate and
4. It should not be aggravated by normal daily physical activity such as walking or climbing the stairs;

• The headache should also demonstrate both of the following qualities as well;
1. The patient must not be suffering more than one of phonophobia (sensitivity to noise) or photophobia (light) or mild nausea and
2. There should be no serious nausea or vomiting either.

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Because this particular form of headache exhibits some of the characteristics of tension type headaches and some of the characteristics of migraine, it is a condition that is not particularly easy to diagnose.

Furthermore, because other far more serious conditions such as a spontaneous cerebrospinal leak can mimic some of the indicators of this particular form of headache, it is necessary for doctors to run many other tests such as an MRI scan to rule these more serious potential problems out before arriving at diagnosis.

In addition, many doctors might also consider taking a lumbar puncture sample as well to rule out an infection before finally arriving at a diagnosis of new daily persistent headache.

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Types of Headaches
Tension Type Headaches (TTH)

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Other Primary Headaches

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